Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents: Part 1
Parenting is difficult for everyone, but it can be particularly challenging when the parents are no longer together. If you recently got divorced, you still have to work together to raise your child in a healthy and happy environment. As tricky as this may sound, there are countless families that overcome this challenge every single day. In this discussion, we will provide some co-parenting tips after divorce to guide you along this journey.
Do Not Use Your Child as a Messenger
This can be damaging to a child’s mental health in an already stressful situation. If you want to send a message to your ex, do so directly. If you have a court ordered mediator to assist you in these kinds of communications, utilize their services. Whatever you do, do not make your child feel like here she is in the middle of an argument.
Establish Similar Rules for Both Households
You may not have the exact same parenting style as your former spouse, but you need to have similar rules and disciplines strategies. This shows your child that you and your ex are in a united front, and it sends a clear message about what will and will not be tolerated.
This will also make it easier for you to discipline the child when necessary because your child will know household expectations. There is no ‘fun’ house or ‘strict’ house. It is simply two parents implementing the same strategies at two locations.
Keep a Consistent Custody Schedule
This may not always be an option, but you should try to provide as much structure as possible. If one parent is going to get the child on the weekends, make that a consistent occurrence. If you are going to alternate weeks or months with your former spouse, make that consistent as well. You may need to make adjustments to accommodate scheduling conflicts, but your child will do best when there is persistence in structure.
Attend Important Events for Your Child
You do not have to sit with your former spouse at the event, but you should both make an appearance. This includes award ceremonies, sports games, assemblies, musical performances, and other moments that are important to your child. Your child deserves to feel support from both parents. Put your personal conflicts aside to lift your child’s spirits.